Blight

Shawn and I are kicking around in the abandoned greenhouse off I-80 when he tells me his idea to rob Bergeson’s General Store. He explains it like this: I’ll walk up to the counter and distract Mrs. Bergeson around closing time when Mr. Bergeson is out picking up supplies. While I’m talking to Mrs. Bergeson, Shawn will sneak into the backroom and empty the spare-change pouch. This, Shawn explains, is how we are going to save our farm.

“I mean, we’ll have to do it a couple times,” he says, balancing on top of a berm, his sneakers digging into the mounded earth, “to get all the money we need. Plus, we’ll have to find where the cash is and everything.”

“Won’t they notice that we’re stealing?” I bend to examine an old rusted watering can poking up from the dirt, probably left behind in the move.

“Nah. They probably don’t check it that often. ”

“How much do we need?” I’m only humoring Shawn by asking about his robbery idea. Shawn has a track record of abandoning activities that require a lot of effort. He breaks up with girls as soon as the relationship starts getting serious. He learns two chords on the guitar and then plays them over and over. He tills half the field and goes inside for a glass of water and then never comes back out to finish the rest. And guess who ends up tilling the rest of the field, watering the tulips, and scrubbing the greenhouse roof? That’s right.

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